Analysis: Arrest of Yukos employee could lead to arrest of others

Arrests of at least two other Yukos employees could follow the recent arrest of the former general director of the Kuybishev Oil Refinery Raphael Zaynullin, according to a source in Samaraneftegaz.

All the Yukos oil refineries in Samara Region worked under a common tax scheme, which means there could also have been violations made by those who directed the Novokuybish and Syzran oil refineries five years ago. The refineries evaded paying their taxes and essentially worked as offshore zones.

Five years ago criminal charges were brought up against the directors of these two refineries, but then dismissed 'for lack of incriminating evidence.' At that time tax audits reported that Kuybishev Oil Refinery failed to pay taxes in the amount of more than USD 920 thousand, while Syzran Oil Refinery failed to pay more than USD 1 million in taxes for the same year. Novokuybishev Oil Refinery was not accused of any violations.

Now, five years later, one of those criminal cases has been re-opened. According to a source at Samaraneftegaz, this is directly connected with the Yukos affair. They say Zaynullin was arrested first because he was believed to be 'the weakest link.' He left his position at Kuybishev Oil Refinery 'not very satisfied', which could mean he was offended at Yukos and could provide investigators with the information they need for an indictment.

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